Memories Are So Sweet!

It’s an odd thing to first, bring you this blog after yet another surgery, and, second, to announce that this is a very, very special quilt that my quilting partner, Joyce Hite, meticulously pieced, applique’d and blanket stitched on her wonderful Bernina.  This quilt was just juried into Road to California, 2020 and we are totally excited over this news.  This particular quilt also received an Honorable Mention in it’s class at AQS Spring Paducah 2019 and just last month took a 2nd in class at IQF Houston.  It is a very special quilt for Joyce, as it represents her memories of growing up on a farm here in Ohio.  I will give a few more insights on this as you scroll through the pictures and this blog will be FILLED with quilting photos with an immense amount of custom freemotion (with ruler work) quilting!

“Memories” is a “taupe” quilt, designed by Joyce using many EQ (Electronic Quilt) patterns and a few blocks from one of her favorite quilters, Yoko Saito, using Japanese fabrics.  Here it is as it arrived to my “factory”:IMG_4286

Joyce created the beautifully wide border for some intricate quilting on my part…she really wanted to give me a space to have fun in and it didn’t take me long to channel my love of Sharon Schambler’s work and create a border for this quilt.  The remaining blocks took a bit longer…over 40 hours of designing on tracing paper with pencil over images that I printed out of each quilt block.  I would later use those drawings to record arc sizes and thread choices, as this quilt used somewhere around 45 thread colors on the top and around 7 colors on the backing.

Here’s a look at the beautiful quilt as it came off of my longarm. Over 1.3 million stitches and about 450 hours of work:IMG_5208

And a few closer looks, with the batting combination of Quilters Dream Blend and Wool giving such nice stitch definition.  Three colors of Glide 40 weight trilobal thread were used in the border to bring a slight hue of color into it.  A different frame was placed around each of the 7 different applique blocks:IMG_5191


And, here is the quilt winning it’s Honorable Mention at AQS Spring Paducah 2019:IMG_6211

You can see the three colors of thread in the border here….An off-yellow, a lighter grey and a darker grey:

And, here is my mass-dump of all of the detail photos of the blocks within the quilt.  Joyce is a remarkably talented quilter and her work is just something incredibly special to see up close.  Her sense of color, care with her applique, and level of stitching talent is truly special.  Her machine blanket stitch is just breathtaking and I am so thrilled to have her as a friend and partner in national show quilts.  Joyce and I have worked together since I was longarming for just 18 months (about two years ago!), placing nationally at that time, and her faith in me is something I will ALWAYS treasure.  She believed in me when I didn’t, and it means the world to me to be supported in that fashion.  She is truly an amazingly wonderful, kind and talented quilter!d13

Joyce’s first block she ever made was a churn-dash block, so this was a significant block in this quilt:d12



Joyce’s Mother was very skilled at flower arranging and all of her flower applique blocks pay homage to her memories of her mother’s very special talent:d9


Now, Joyce doesn’t know this, but the acorn block here has a very special meaning to me and my family memories.  I grew up on a small parcel in Mentor, Ohio.  We had a HUGE Scarlet Oak in the backyard that dated over 200 years old.  The property, and that tree, were once owned by our President, James A. Garfield with his “Lawnfield” homelocated just to the west of the top of our street.  Our childhood was spent using that tree as “home” in games of tag, left us huge piles of rust-colored leaves in the fall that we jumped into, gave us acorns for acorn fights and painted acorn people with painted acorn “hats” and dropped on us sticks and leaves to form make-believe house outlines in the back yard in which we “lived”.  When one Memorial Day found a teenage version of me at the window, hearing a huge crack and shaking the picture window, I exclaimed to my Mom that the tree was literally cracking in front of me.  An emegency Arborist’s crew cinched it back together with a huge chain link cable system, but about 5 years later found the tree too bad to keep and it was, unfortunately, cut down.  The crew on that fateful day consisted of men who asked to be on that job crew, because, they too, loved the history of that tree.  It was a sad day, but I will never forget what that tree meant to us kids and my parents.d7

The “J” block is, obviously, a monogram for Joyce:d6


Joyce spent her childhood growing up on a farm, and this barn block represents that special time in her life:d4


This flower applique happens to be my favorite block on this quilt.  It’s hard to actually pick a favorite, but this was just such a gorgeous block with such dainty leaves that bent in the wind.  I loved the fabrics used on this one and I loved the french knots Joyce made in the stamens of the flowers.  Add to this that my first collegiate degree was in Horticulture and with my Master’s degree and the passage of my State Boards, I became a Registered Landscape Architect, and, well, it all makes sense:d2

I loved using Cindy Needham’s Ultimate Background Stencil set to mark out the basketweave on the flower basket and I think it turned out beautifully:d1

Well, that does it for the eye candy!  I thank you for taking the time to pop in for a visit!  I’m excited to announce that Joyce and I are currently working on the next show quilt (well, Joyce is done piecing and waiting for me to finish the longarming…which is taking a lot longer than first anticipated, but all good things must come in due time)!

May this Holiday Season fill you with warmth, love, support and kindness.  Take care and I hope you get a little time today to be creative!

Patricia Heinrich Hechler


Look What Joyce Made In Class :)

Joyce Hite was at it again, this time with a class quilt that needed some finishing touches.

While I know it has been a little while since my last blog post, I do have a pretty good excuse…well, at least I think it is! I’ve spent the better part of three months collaborating on a show quilt with the fantastically talented Joyce Hite.  I so wish I could share with you what came off my frame on that quilt, but that will have to wait a bit.

So, today, I bring to you another quilt that Joyce Hite pieced! Joyce created this quilt as a class quilt and brought it to me for “light” custom.  I love how Joyce thinks…here version and my version of light custom is rather the same.  Most would consider this to be moderate custom, but not Joyce and I!  And, certainly not after having quilted that show quilt!

I cannot tell you the pattern or the fabric line that was used in this quilt, but I can tell you that it was so friendly and comfortable looking and the backing had the hue of a well-worn pair of denim jeans. At 80”x 100”, it was certainly a larger quilt, but the design didn’t take long to form, what with the body of if being two different blocks set on point.  I drew out my intentions onto clear film I placed over the quilt and texted Joyce my ideas.  I got the go-ahead and on frame it went.  We chose a deluxe grade of Quilters Dream Cotton Natural batting and glide thread in three hues on the top and two hues on the back.IMG_5300

To create the pearls in the white area, I created the file digitally on my Intelliquilter computer and stitched them out digitally.  Everything else you see was done with freemotion and rulerwork on my 26″ Innova.  Here are more detailed pictures.


Here are more close-ups of the individual block elements.  I just loved getting a chance to put my touches onto such a gorgeous quilt.  It was so regal and so rich with color and so soft and quiet at the same time.





And the back!  What about that back?  Here it is.  I just couldn’t get a good picture of the beautiful hue of the backing or how the threadwork played on it, but I just have to say, it was a stunner.



Well, that’s it, folks.  I am plum full for 2018 and booking for 2019 now.  If you’d like to have your top quilted by me in 2019, please click on the “contact me” tab at the top of this webpage and drop me a note.  I’d love to hear from you.  I can quilt freemotion or digitally, custom or pantograph.   Let me help me you tell your quilt’s story.


AQS Spring Paducah 2018, Here WE Come!

Well, today I bring to you a blog I’ve been quietly excited about for several months.  The time has come to share with you a very cool project my dear client, the incredibly talented and skillful Joyce Hite created.  Joyce does absolutely stunning and immaculate work and has such command of hand applique, machine applique and machine quilting.  With so many projects, Joyce has turned to me at times to complete the quilting on her beautiful work.  For this quilt, The Flower Basket (pattern by Sue Nickels), Joyce said to me, with a huge smile on her face, “Let’s make this a show quilt”.  Such exciting news, I must say.

Joyce’s quilt was machine appliqued with precision and beauty.  How she cut the scalloped edges so perfectly is absolutely beyond me.  Every piece was fused and then blanket stitched.  It was perfectly flat and perfectly square.  And, it was gorgeous.


I sat down at the drawing table and began the design of this special piece.  Once approved by Joyce, I set out to mark the quilt for quilting….for NINE hours!  When you’re longarming a show quilt, you take the time to make sure you get things right and mark everything out.  And, this special quilt demanded it.

I used two layers of Quilters Dream batting…Blend on the bottom and Wool on the top.  Glide thread in three colors was used on the top and in two colors on the bottom.  The quilting went on for days and days and ended when the last of 713,417 stitches were laid down.

Unfortunately, I was delayed in getting this quilt done, which left poor Joyce in a terrible pinch to finish it in time for submission into AQS Spring Paducah.  With one day to go, Joyce successfully completed and entered the piece at the beginning of December.  Fast forward to a few days ago, and my phone rang to find Joyce on the other end….Her gorgeous quilt made Paducah!  And, not only did this quilt make it in, but Joyce created another quilt that ALSO made Paducah!  Talk about success!  I’m so honored to introduce you to The Flower Basket:


Time to enjoy the details of this spectacular quilt.  Here is the center body.  The framework around the flower basket went in first.  Once that was done, in went the feathers, followed by the fill.


And more of the body of the quilt.  Joyce’s applique was stitched around and there was selective longarming within some of the applique to add another layer of detail on her beautiful work.IMG_3141


Here is a shot of the outer and inner border and the beautiful work Joyce did on the applique.


And, a few more shots of the inner border.IMG_3139


So, what about the back you ask?  I just love when a client chooses a solid backing…doing so really shows off the quilting detail and this backing didn’t disappoint.  Since two thread colors were used on the backing, the visual interest was really expressed nicely:


And, in more detail, here is more of the back:


I just loved the vertical stitching along the outer edge…all done freemotion on my amazing Innova.  It gave it such a beautiful organic look and I am so happy with the results.IMG_3147

If you loved this quilt, I have a sneaking suspicion you just might love my handmade soap.  Visit my little fledgling luxury soap company online at 

I hope you have a little time to be creative today.

Take care,

Patricia Heinrich Hechler

AQS Spring Paducah 2017 Eye Candy!

What a trip that was.  My sister and I traveled 5.5 hours to Paducah, Kentucky to take in the AQS Spring Paducah Quilt Week and what a week it was.  Back in December, 2016, on a whim, I entered the first quilt that ever came off my longarm (or domesic or mid arm, for that matter), and lo and behold, it somehow made it into this juried show.  We were in route to see it hang and this prestigious event!

The weather looked to be spots of rain and cooler temperatures, but that didn’t deter us.  We had plans!  We light out early Tuesday morning for the hotel.  If you’re ever in Paducah, look up Auburn Place.  This is a charming hotel that sits nearly across the street from the famed Hancocks of Paducah.  Auburn Place, so nicely manicured inside and out, always looks brand new with each passing year.  Friendly staff great you with each arrival and if you’re parched, so does fresh lemon water.  If you have a sweet tooth, all you have to do is find yourself busy until the early evening and then head downstairs for fresh cookies and milk.  Every.  Night.  No.  Kidding.

We checked in and then immediately high-tailed it to Hancock’s of Paducah before we drove downtown and parked at the event center.  We stopped just long enough to record this moment in time, snapping a picture of the locomotive parked by the famous Paducah floodwall:IMG_1539

We made our way through the door and helped ourselves to some hors d’oeuvres, realizing, when the food line led to a number of empty serving trays, that the 4:30 start time listed on the tickets really meant more like 3:30.  Lesson learned!

We got to take in the awards presentation and when AQS dropped the top class winners, from the ceiling of the theatre, fully illuminated, we were thoroughly mesmerized.

AQS Spring Paducah 2017 Winners

When the awards were done, we trapsed across downtown Paducah by foot to the convention center, where we were able to speak to the Best of Show winner, Janet Stone.  That was humbling!  Janet took the show with her “Ewe Are My Sunshine” and promptly decided to take the money and run.  I believe she was awarded $20,000 by giving up her rights to her masterpiece and turning it over to the care of AQS for future display and full ownership.

My sister and I made our way over to my entry, “Digging In The Dirt”.  It was so cool to see it hanging there.  My sister Shari Heinrich snapped this picture for posterity.

Photo by Shari Heinrich, “Digging In The Dirt”, Patricia H. Hechler

Off we went to take in the sites of over 400 quilts from 47 states and 15 countries!  What an honor to be recognized with just my first quilt off the longarm.  I have a LONG way to go to ever consider my work capable of netting a ribbon at Paducah, but I have my eye on a prize!  I’ll explain more of that in a bit.

Shari and I went back to our hotel, exhausted from the day, several miles of walking, five and half hours of driving and hundreds of quilts seen.  There would be more time to see more things, buy more items, and build more memories.  First, there was this thing called sleep.

Each morning, Shari and I would take in the free breakfast at Auburn Place, helping ourselves to a little bit of biscuits and gravy and some yogurt.  Then, every morning, we drove downtown, parked the van, and heading straight to Kirchoff’s Bakery and Etcetera Coffee.  I honestly don’t know of any better bakery OR coffeehouse in the United States.  It was that good.

I would head to the Convention Center, and sometimes my sister came with me.  Other times, she stood her ground downtown and hung out by the river, spending her time writing her next literary piece.  She’s got a novel written and she’s currently searching out a publisher.  I’m hoping that 2017 is the year she lands a publishing contract!  If you’d like to see her blog, here it is.  You can even sign up to follow her if you like!

Onto quilts, I say!  We have officially made it to the “Eye Candy” part of this blog post!  Bring on those stunning quilts!

This one, entitled, “Flowered and Feathered Frenzy” was made by Susan K. Cleveland of Minnesota.  The solid colors were just so eye-catching and it won first in it’s class.

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Flowered and Feathered Frenzy”, Susan K. Cleveland



Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Flowered and Feathered Frenzy”, Susan K. Cleveland


Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Flowered and Feathered Frenzy”, Susan K. Cleveland

Next up is my personal favorite from the show, and one of the big winners.  It must be the Registered Landscape Architect in me, but I just adored the entire quilt.  From fabric choices, to design, to quilting, this one really took my heart.

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Moonflower”, Molly Y. Hamilton-McNally

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Moonflower”, Molly Y. Hamilton-McNally


Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Moonflower”, Molly Y. Hamilton-McNally

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Moonflower”, Molly Y. Hamilton-McNally

Talk about composition and movement.  This quilt had it all.  I felt that the piecing was going to drip onto the floor at some point.  It was stunning!

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “A Spring Twist”, Karlyn Bue Lohrenz

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “A Spring Twist”, Karlyn Bue Lohrenz

I just kept going back to this next quilt each day, to study it a little more and to take in all that color.  The gradation on this quilt was something else.  If you needed cheering up, this was the quilt for you.  It didn’t ribbon, but it was certainly a show-stopper in my book.

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Rainbow In The Round”, Pam Biswas

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Rainbow In The Round”, Pam Biswas

And, here was the winner in our class, Large Bed Quilt, First Entry into AQS Paducah.  We had around 36 quilts in our class, which I believe was one of the biggest classes in the show.  Congratulations to Ben for winning a huge class.

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Imperial Star”, Ben Darby

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Imperial Star”, Ben Darby

Viewer’s Choice went to this lovely horse.  The amount of quilting on this one was absolutely fantastic and the horse’s mane looked like it was flowing off of the quilt.  Talk about effective quilting and fabric painting!  I was so happy to see this one ribbon!

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “White Knight”, Patt Blair

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “White Knight”, Patt Blair

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “White Knight”, Patt Blair

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “White Knight”, Patt Blair

This was such a stunning quilt with an emmense amount of quilting done on it.  I just kept going back to examine all the work put into this quilt.  It’s hard for me to imagine why this one didn’t ribbon, but there is just so much hard work accomplished in these pieces that the award often is just making it into this show.

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Waiting For Mr. Fraser”, Laurie Tigner

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Waiting For Mr. Fraser”, Laurie Tigner

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Waiting For Mr. Fraser”, Laurie Tigner

This next one was in the Modern Category and while that category isn’t my cup of tea, I did really find this one impressive.

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Spinning Stars”, Mel Beach

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Spinning Stars”, Mel Beach

Taking it’s class for Group Quilts was this impressive red and white quilt.  It’s hard to believe that a guild put this one together, due to it’s complete uniformity and precision on every single stinking block!  I have to say, there are some incredibly talented guilds out there.

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Red, White, and Stars”, Austin Area Quilt Guild, Austin, TX

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Red, White, and Stars”, Austin Area Quilt Guild, Austin, TX

This last quilt was one of my favorites as well and has won numerous ribbons throughout the AQS Quilt Show season.  Talk about precision in quilting.  The gemstones were a perfect touch.

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Wickedly Green”, Deborah Poole


Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Wickedly Green”, Deborah Poole

Photo by Patricia  H. Hechler, “Wickedly Green”, Deborah Poole

I got to take a few classes with national teachers and find a few things I was in need of.  My sister and I had a great time having some great food and meeting some great people (though we were completely remiss in continuing our training for our upcoming half marathon).  I can safely say that the half marathon, the Cincinnati Flying Pig, went off with only a few hitches and we both completed it in great spirits!

Even with me stating that I was not going to make another show quilt, I got the bug to think about my next show quilt and I promptly grabbed up fabric for it!  I can honestly say that I think I have everything needed for my next attempt to make it into and AQS show!  Give me a few years!

On top of that, after days of mulling things over and test driving, with my sister egging me on the whole time, I have decided to trade in my A1 Platinum longarm and move over to Innova.  In just over a month’s time, I will become an “Innovian”, working with a larger 26″ throat on a 12′ frame with lightening stitch.  I’m very excited.  There is no computer just yet, but that may come in the future.  The A1 that I used will be up for sale at Accomplish Quilting, and I will blog their page and the particulars when it is on the market.  It’s a great machine with many newer upgrades, including the awesome Platinum stitch regulator, Beautiful orange locking wheels installed by me, custom deck graphics designed by me and 0-center leaders installed by me.

(UPDATE:  My A1 longarm was purchased prior to it making it’s way to Accomplish Quilting’ store. It is already in its new home and my new Innova is under roof!)

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I hope you all have a fantasic day and you get to spend a part of it being creative.